Sounding Off On How Much Mom’s Job Should Pay

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-05-1413

What do you think of the claim that mom’s work doesn’t really cost or pay much? I read an article entitled: This Just In — Moms Aren’t Worth $138,095 a Year. Say what?

Hmmmm, let’s see.

That article strongly criticizes the original premise by MSN Money that mom’s job should pay an annual 6 figures, with the assumption that it was written by a mom for good reason. It was also pointed out that the MSN article got a lot of flack, most likely from a bunch of guys who have it out for the value of domestic labor. Needless to say, Binary Dollar isn’t happy about this imaginary inflated salary for mothers either.

For the sake of “balanced reporting”, let me share with you Money Smart Life’s thoughts on Why Your Mom Is The Engine Of Growth In The Global Economy, which I believe should convince you why a mother’s job IS valued so highly, albeit quantified at a healthy 6 figures.

I’ll just say that as a mom who also has a career, I find that the job at home as a parent, caretaker, household runner, chore doer and financial manager is quite tougher than my job as an engineer. I also encounter too many people (mostly men) at work who have outwardly expressed that their 9 to 5 job is so much easier than their job at home. In fact, some have rushed in to work during official holidays and other “off” periods in order to escape the helter skelter of their domestic lives. So yes, I know many dads who have admitted this.

What’s important to note here though is that I don’t find the value of the job tied to the sex of the person doing it. It matters not who does the work — whether it be mom or dad or both. To me, the job deserves that kind of pay.

It’s true that before I had kids, I used to think — what’s the big deal? That stay at home thing is so easy, that’s what I wish I could be doing all day long. But I’ve changed my mind since then: my office job is WAY easier than my job at home, speaking from hard experience.

Just for fun, I checked the Mom’s Salary Wizard for myself to see how much I should really be paid for all the hats I wear (or roles I play). My entries were these: I have two pre-school age children, and I am a working mother in Silicon Valley, CA.

Here are the national and local salary ranges for moms with my profile (where local is “Silicon Valley”):

Mom's Salary 2

And here’s my lovely check!

Mom's Salary 3

Looks like I’m worth around $107,000.

So what’s your take on mom’s salary? If you’re more interested in dad, then here’s where you can calculate his worth as well! For the record, my spouse is worth $130,000. Not bad!

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Moneymonk May 14, 2007 at 10:05 am

LOL @ psychologist! Children can automatically drive you to this

Q at $1 Million to My Name May 14, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Men do alot of extra crap around the house that would increase our “worth” into the millions!

broknowrchlatr May 15, 2007 at 10:08 am

I can’t disagree that women (my wife included) do much more than what could be attributted to any single full time job. Based on that, the figures presented are accurate. But you have to take into account the fact that moms want to be moms. Many professions pay less than the work is worth because the people doing the job want to do the job (geologists, librarians, voulunteers, teachers). These people are not doing the job for the $$$. They need the money, but want to do something they enjoy.

So, are we talking about what they are worth, or what their equivalent salary should be? If you are asking what they are worth, $100k is about right. But, you also must raise men’s equivalent worth’s based on what they do. When i get home from work, I immediately relieve my wife and we share chores and childcare for the evening. I often finsh doing chores, etc. well after she does. I also let her sleep in on Saterdays and Sundays. I could argue that this adds $30k or so to my worth.

I would like to be able to stay home with the kids. But the economics don’t work out. Outside the home, she could earn $35k or so in a 9-5 job or $60k or so working evenings or nights (she is an LPN). I can make $100k. It just wouldn’t make sense for her to work instead of me.

Now, if you are talking about what equivalent salary a mom should make, I think it comes in closer to $50k-$60k (maybe $80k in silicon valley), since you have to take into account the desirability of the job.

Silicon Valley Blogger May 15, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Hear hear! Both parents — mom and dad — would receive quite a bit if they accepted payment for their parenting roles. The point of this whole post and the preceding articles was to show why we ought to value and appreciate our parents, especially if they really do all those tasks to run and manage the family!

rob May 17, 2007 at 7:20 am

I don’t discount the value of having a homemaker in the family – my mom is/was a homemaker and I attribute a lot of good things in my life to that.

Ascribing a money value to that job seems extremely pointless to me though. Two key reasons:

1. Salary, as I understand it, is mostly determined by supply/demand. And it’s not just for a homogeneous population of homemakers – different homemakers have different capabilities, skills, and work ethic. Homemakers don’t get their jobs through an interview process.

2. Tangible things, like past experience and education. The implications of this study is basically saying that a high-school dropout is capable of making over six-figures a year, doing just as well as a PhD who has decided to become a homemaker instead of a professional.
It doesn’t take any experience or education to be a full-time homemaker. In the professional world, background like this would greatly influence salaries.

Holly Schwendiman May 30, 2007 at 8:25 am

Personally, I just like seeing value being pointed out in all jobs in life – regardless of whether or not a paycheck accompanies them. As for me, I don’t think you can put a value on the worth of mom because when it comes to individuals and her influence as mother the value is immeasurable to me. I just hope I can do my kids right!

Here via the Carnival of Family Life. 🙂

anymouse May 15, 2008 at 6:14 am

CEO?? CEO of a household would not make any where near that much money. I’d pay you 20 not 200.
Psychologist? I believe you need a degree otherwise your just a friend giving advice.

Your numbers are wrong because they are based on exaggerated simplification.
Why not get a more reasonable salary by using weighted averages of a daycare worker, housecleaner, van driver, personal assistant. You’d be worth more like 30,000 at a full time rate. And thats being liberal. CEO, lol, I think you’re expected to take care of your own finances. Come on!!

HYIP January 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Your mom not only raised you but also kept the global economy going strong!

David Spader September 26, 2011 at 11:12 am

Interesting how this allows people to “claim” into the salaries of professions such as “psychologist” which require enormous amounts of schooling, clinical training, licensing, etc. I recently mowed the lawn and prepared a garden area so does that mean I’m now a “farmer” and “landscape architect?

Is it too much to ask that when you are “only” a homemaker (primarily because I can make more actual and real money that provides the roof over our heads, food on the table, and utilities kept on than she could) that in addition to caring for the child that the house isn’t completely trashed, the dishes you created during the day are washed, and maybe a meal is cooked since I get off work at 5pm and she wants to eat dinner as a family at 6:30? Is that too much to ask? Sometimes I feel like it could be financially cheaper and emotionally easier to just have the kid in day care and data collect who does what around the house for chores to keep the piece! Or, get this go get a job and split the household chores 50/50 and pay for the kid to be in day care. Staying at home raising your children is a privilege that few can afford!

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